LEXI MILLER (2017)
No 2 Singles on New Palestine Girls Varsity Tennis Team – 2017. Academic All-State Honorable Mention 2017. 11-6 winning record. Ball State Club Tennis Team – 2017
Coach Evans has made such a large impact on my tennis career. Without his vast knowledge of the game, patience, and kind heart, I would not be the player I am today or love the game as much as I do. Over the past two years, Coach Des has not only been a coach to me, but a mentor and a friend. Through Coach Des, I feel like I not only learned a lot about tennis, but I learned a lot about myself. Along with teaching the proper techniques for the ground strokes and serve, Coach Evans always took the time to explain why those techniques worked. I was never forced to use certain grips or strokes, but he showed me how my game would benefit if I did change to the proper form. Along with strokes and techniques, Coach also taught me about the equipment I should be using. Before being coached by Coach Des, I had been using a racquet that was too heavy for me and was unaware of the strings I was using or the tension they were at. Because of all this, my match performance improved immensely in just his first year as my coach. I was lucky enough to not only have Des as a private coach, but as my high school coach as well.
Coach also allowed a couple of other girls and I to be managers for the men’s tennis team. He allowed us to participate in drills, listen to instruction, and introduced us into a more competitive atmosphere as we prepared for our upcoming season. I have never had a coach before who cares about tennis and his players as much as Coach Des does. Coach knew how much we wanted to improve our record, and he was willing to work with us even in our off-season to help us get better. I wouldn’t be on the Ball State Club Tennis Team without his help and guidance throughout the past two years. Thank you Coach Des
MATTHEW TRUE (2017)
New Palestine Dragons No 1 Singles, All Conference & All District Award, Academic All-State Team Award , 19-6 record – 2017
We are the parents of Matthew True, a basketball and tennis player at New Palestine High School. Des has played a vital role in Matthew’s development not only as a tennis player, but as an athlete and most importantly as a citizen in his community. As a tennis player, Matthew initially played tennis in a local USTA Rally Ball league around the age of five. This was before the wide spread adoption of slower paced foam and green dot balls. While Matthew enjoyed his participation in this league, his friends were playing baseball, and as a result he turned his attention to this sport. He excelled in baseball and enjoyed it until the sixth grade. He had an unpleasant coaching experience and as a result wanted to switch sports and pick tennis back up. We first tried some group lessons to help him unlearn the baseball swing and pick up solid tennis fundamentals. Matthew is a determined learner and the group setting with varying degrees of interest from the class participants dampened his experience. We knew the best option was private lessons and this is where we were fortuitous in meeting Des.
In the private lesson setting with Des, Matthew demonstrated an ability to quickly pick up and apply Des’ expertise on strokes. It was evident Des’ knowledge of the game and specifically his expertise in stroke fundamentals were exceptional. Matthew’s ability to hit a variety of tennis shots was continually improving under Des’ coaching. Matthew’s tennis game would not be where it is today without this individual attention from Des. Des has the ability to build upon stroke fundamentals and game strategies to consistently add components to one’s game. This enables one to earn success on the tennis court.
Matthew has been a multi-sport athlete and we have encouraged him to play for the purpose of applying life lessons that sports provides and to have fun. He currently is a varsity player in both tennis and basketball since his freshman year in high school. The private tennis lessons have helped Matthew not only on the tennis court, but such lessons have also aided in his success on the basketball court. From an athletic perspective his footwork, eye-hand coordination, and his conditioning have all seen measurable improvements. From the mental aspect his in-game problem solving, ability to handle and confront adversity, and his overall mental toughness have improved. Des has a way of challenging his athletes while also investing in their success.
It is evident in watching the relationship between coach (Des) and student (Matthew) that Des is fully invested in Matthew’s success. This can be “challenging” at times for both the coach and the student – and “challenging”, while not always fun, is beneficial. Matthew’s goals in playing high school sports is not driven to play in college or earn a scholarship. As parents, we tend to focus Matthew on academic success and pursuing what he desires intellectually over athletic pursuits. Matthew is a naturally competitive person and wants to earn athletic success and enjoy the process. He is accomplishing this thus far in his high school career as a junior at New Palestine High School. Des has played an important role in Matthew’s development as a tennis player, basketball player, and overall being a productive student/citizen in his community. We appreciate the well roundedness offered by Des’ instruction and guidance.
Doug & Sharon True
JACK HIATT (2012)
I have been taking lessons from Des for four and a half years. Des is a wonderful coach and a wonderful person. He makes tennis fun for players of all ages, and does a great job at making sure every player feels special and included. The thing I think I like most about Des is that he genuinely cares about his players. Whenever I have a tournament or a match he calls or texts me in between my matches to see how I am playing and what I think I need to work on. He has even gotten me a chance to play with the Marian University team. I like knowing that I can always text or call Des to get advice before or after a match. When you talk to Des you will see very quickly that he is easy to talk to and that he is a true gentleman.
I started taking lessons with Des in between my sophomore and junior year. I went from playing #2 varsity doubles my sophomore year to playing #1 varsity singles my junior and senior years! Des has helped me with pretty much every stroke and I can’t thank him enough for what he has done. With Des’ help I was able to become the Mid-Indiana Conference #1 singles conference champion my junior and senior years. I made the All-Conference team first team singles my junior and senior years, was on the All-County team (Hamilton), and was recently named as 1st alternate to the Indiana Senior Boys All-Star Team. I was also selected All-District for District Three. Des has worked miracles on me and I learn something new every time I see him. Des will push you as hard as you want to go, and if you work hard and listen to him he can make you as good as you want to be. After being with Des I have never even thought about taking lessons from anyone else. Des makes you feel like part of the family and when you talk to him, you will feel like you are talking to a close friend.
I have three kids who are very different, but they share an interest in tennis. Des has managed to give each of them the individual type of attention that they need. We began with Des when my oldest, JD, was still in middle school. At that time, he was small for his age and not very confident. His school coach recommended Des as a coach, and he has been working with my kids ever since. JD finally grew, and Des was there to train him how to use his new height and elongated limbs to an athletic advantage.He was also there to help him to figure out how to play the various opponents he encountered in his high school varsity tennis matches. He encouraged JD to challenge himself, which is advice that he can use in all aspects of his life. He had a great experience with high school tennis, and he has developed enough confidence that has walked onto his college team. We owe much of JD’s confidence and success to the experience he had with Des.
Ellie has also spent the past 5 or 6 years with Des. When she began with him she was not an experienced tennis player, but she had played long enough to develop some bad habits. Des was the perfect person to reverse that. He videotaped her so that she could compare her strokes to the strokes of other pros and experienced players. Under Des she has developed all aspects of her play. He always seems to know how to teach her from one lesson to the next. A typical teenager, she sometimes came to a lesson tired, demoralized after some loss, or proud of a particular accomplishment.Des seems to be able to gauge her emotions in a way that makes the most of her lesson time. He has helped her to become more confident in her ability, and he has helped her transition from a player who was afraid of singles to the number one player on her high school team last year.
Maddie did not really like tennis when she started. She was easily frustrated when she was learning to get the ball over the net. As the youngest, she did not think she would ever be able to play like her brother and sister. She was too embarrassed to join large clinics because she wanted to know how to play tennis before practicing with other people.Des stepped in to teach her the strokes and techniques that allowed her to play with some confidence. She did not realize, as I did, that she had the advantage of learning the strokes correctly the first time. She did not have the bad habits that my other kids had to get rid of because Des taught her to play correctly from the beginning. She now has the confidence to play in groups and has played on her middle school team since she was in fourth grade.We have been delighted with the instruction and guidance Des has given us through the years!
Dr. Sharon Hoover
KELSEY SIGMAN’S TESTIMONIAL (2010)
Des is one of the most caring and giving coaches I have ever met. He is not only a coach in tennis but a coach in life as well. With any problem, tennis related or not, he gives his wisdom and advice, summing up big lessons with his famous ‘sermons of the day’. We analyze goals and where we want to go in tennis. Des completely understands those goals and does whatever it takes to help us reach them, whether it is becoming a recreational player, tournament player, making varsity, or getting scholarships.
Consistently he checks up on us to make sure we are doing alright and completing the steps that will help us meet our diversified goals. After a big tournament weekend, I can always be sure that my next lesson would be with Des to talk about how it went, fix what went wrong, and talk strategy.
The amount of time Des gives to each and every student is truly compelling. With him, I have never felt neglected because of his lack of interest. He takes so much interest in each of us that he even calls to check in when we haven’t seen him in awhile.
He is like a family member to all of his students and with him, part of his big tennis family you will become. He has gotten me into so many great programs, events and tournaments with his knowledge and care for me as a player. If we need something fixed, he does not rest with us as we struggle to fix it.
We all go through hardships too. I recently got an injury during my high school season that came with a pain that made playing almost unbearable. After my season was over, I had to take time off. No other coach after I stopped being able to play contacted me asking how I was….except Des.
He proved such a blessing in a time where all I wanted to do was play tennis yet physically I couldn’t. Calling to check up on my physical therapy, how I was progressing, and even giving me some exercises to help speed up healing, Des helped and keeps helping me through my injury. He took special time to work with me, going over technique and more importantly, gave me hope that I was going to get better.
I cannot even imagine what I would do without him. I’m so thankful that I met him as a coach that brings so much positive and caring energy to the game of tennis.
Thanks so much, Des for all that you do!,
TESTIMONIAL FROM JESSI FALENDER (2011)
I began playing tennis when I was about 7 years old and growing up, I played a lot. It was not until about 5 years ago, when I started taking lessons from Des Evans, that I was told my strokes were all wrong. Since then, Des has been nothing less than determined and understanding in helping me develop the proper strokes and techniques.
It is clear that my game has improved dramatically, while Des is always looking for improvements. He has not only been my private tennis coach, but also my advisor. He has been there to help my game every step of the way and has also repeatedly shown how much he cares about me as a whole. I would not expect a tennis coach to be as heartwarming as Des.
He is, to say the least, very patient with me and does not stop in making me strive for the best. I know I can rely on Des to fit me into his schedule and continue to help me improve each and every week.
Leaving for college in a year, I am already worried as to how I will find as great of a coach as Des, if I decide to leave Indianapolis. It is clear that no others will compare. To some it up, Des is very encouraging and has made a tremendous impact on my life
TESTIMONIAL FROM TAYLOR GRAYSON (2010)
Throughout my tennis career, I have been associated with many different pros and coaches, but none of them ever felt like the right coach. After meeting Des Evans, I could tell right away that he cared not only about my tennis, but also about me as a person.
Since then, I have been with Des for five years and he continues to stick with me and teach me new things each week. Des is very passionate about what he does and he makes sure that the student understands the technique in its fullest before moving on.
To accomplish this, he does everything from having the student watch videos of the pros to visualize the stroke they are trying to perfect to actually videotaping the student so they can see exactly what they are doing.
My personal favorite tool that Des uses to teach is where he makes me say what I think could be better or what I’m not doing quite right. Doing this with all students, Des helps the student see their mistakes on their own and learn from them, rather than just telling the student what to do.
Des cares very much about each and every one of his students and puts their interests ahead of his own. He is always available to answer questions and to give advice, whether it be face-to-face or on the phone.
Des had made a great impact on my life, not only with tennis, but also encouraging me to be my best at whatever I do. Des Evans is a wonderful coach and an excellent mentor and I feel very blessed to have him in my life.
TESTIMONIAL FROM ANISHA GOHIL : (2010)
Ishan and Anisha Gohil have both become medical doctors. Products of strong family values, a positive attitude and an excellent work ethic!
I was so fortunate to have had the opportunity to be coached by Des. He truly cares about his students. You’re not just any tennis player to Des, you are his student and he cares about your success. He wants you to do well and also enjoy the game.
My younger brother, Ishan, and I met Des – when we were in middle-school – during one of the group tennis lessons at Indianapolis Racquet Club. My Mom wanted us to start taking private tennis lessons and I knew immediately that I wanted to take them from Des. I knew this because while there were lots of kids in the group class, Des would always take the time to correct my strokes and give me advice.
We would also talk about things other than tennis too, like school. I could always talk to Des.
Ishan was an excellent counter-puncher and was resilience and determination personified
Throughout high school, my brother and I had a private class with Des every Sunday evening. One of the reasons Des is such a good coach is because, while he helps your overall game, he helps you with what you struggle with the most.
Des helped my brother with his technique while he helped me become more confident. During my freshman year of high school I’d lose some matches because I would lose focus and stop trying. We would practice match-play during tennis class and Des helped to give me the confidence to stay in the point. He helped me develop strategies so I wasn’t just keeping the ball in – but also doing something with the ball.
I soon started to be more successful in USTA tournaments and during my high school season. I started to win more of my matches and pulled out wins against tough opponents.
After high school, Ishan and I both attended Saint Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Indiana and both played on the tennis team. St. Joe’s is a very competitive conference competing at NCAA Division 2 level. On our college summer breaks we would continue our Sunday lessons with Des.
During this time Ishan felt that Des taught him how to play mental tennis, where he learned that the strategy going into a point is just as important as playing the point itself. For me, I started hitting the ball deeper and harder – which made me better for college level tennis.
I graduated from St. Joe’s in May, 2010 and I am now attending medical school. I miss Des a lot and wish him the very best. He is a great coach and overall just a good person. Thank you Des for everything!